The Donahower Family | Elizabethtown Borough Park Winter Family Portraits | Elizabethtown, PA

Every year I have the pleasure of photographing the Donahower Family for their annual Christmas photo. This year we had the addition of sweet baby Sage to the bunch! It's always fun photographing her sister River. She's quite the ham... So I can't wait to watch little Sage's personally develope!

We got lucky this early winter here in PA. It actually snowed before Jan for once! It wasn't much... BUT it was enough for a quick snowball fight at the end of the session! I think Dad might have had the most fun with that. River was pretty indifferent to the situation haha

The Chmielowski Family | French Creek State Park Family Portraits | Elverson, PA

The other day someone asked me how long I've been in the wedding industry. It took me a minute, but when I did the math it turns out I've been in this beautiful, crazy, wonderful industry for TEN YEARS now. Wow, where did the time go? One of the perks of being in the wedding industry so long is getting to watch your couples grow their families! Whether that's with kids, dogs, or cats I'm always equally excited haha.

I photographed Kim and Jakes wedding a few years ago (again, where has the time gone?!) at the beautiful Concordville Inn. They were already very much an adorable little family then, but they've made a pretty cute addition to the Chmielowski family since then!

Before I could even suggest it Kim said she wanted to take their family photos at French Creek State Park where we did their engagement session. Great minds think alike! Plus I’m a sucker for anything sentimental…We even got to recreate some of those photos while there. It was so nice to see the two of them again and meet the little ones!

The Tindall Family | Apple Orchard Family Session | Elizabethtown, PA

Have you ever met someone that's so sweet you swear they have to be made of sugar? Well, that's how this entire family is. I'm sure they'd humbly disagree, but it's true! They were so sweet and kind throughout the whole chilly fall session. Even when I made Elizabeth tromp through the mud in the Masonic Village orchard in her heels she smiled the whole way!

And don't even get me started with little Miss Amy... What a cutie! She was so cooperative and kindhearted when I'd ask her to do silly things like "tackle your mom!" or "is there a squirrel on my head?" She was a good sport on such a cold day! Little Amy asking me if I'd come over and play with her next week was hands down the greatest compliment I've ever received after a session. You know you've done your job right when the kid doesn't want the fun to end. It was an honor photographing such a wonderful family!

Lauren | Urban Lifestyle Maternity Session | Uptown Harrisburg, PA

I was so pumped when Lauren said she loved the idea of doing her maternity session around the Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center. Not only was it just a few blocks away from her home, but it couldn't have reflected her beautiful personality more! Midtown is colorful, bold, and stylish. It was the perfect complement to Lauren's vivacious, fearless, and adventurous soul. I loved exploring Midtown with her and finally being able to check out some the Sprocket Mural Works murals in person. They were the perfect backdrop for this vibrant babe and her baby-boy-to-be!

We chatted about the do's and don'ts of pregnancy. Like, DO smile and nod when someone tells you their baby's name even if you hate it. And DON'T just run up and start touching a pregnant woman's belly... We discussed her very normal fears of becoming a mother. Of course, we both ultimately decided she was gonna be a kickass momma (duh!) and I can't wait to see her flourish in this next chapter of her life!

Amanda + Nikole | Stirling Guest Hotel Wedding | Reading, PA

When there's no engagement session it's always a little scary to go into a wedding day. An hour-long meeting at a coffee shop is typically enough time for me to get to know a couple well enough to know if we'll be a good fit or not personality wise for their wedding day. But you have no idea how photographing will go. These two lovely ladies were handsdown pros though! I can confidently say these two can add Professional Models to their resumes.

All they needed were each other and the rest of the work was a piece of cake for me. All I needed to tell Nikole was to snuggle into Amanda and they would both immediately relax. Hey having your photo taken by a stranger is stressful! It's obvious they bring each other so much comfort and peace. But don't let their calm demeanors full you though! They BOTH fully enjoyed the moment when I told them they were allowed to whisper anything they wanted in the other ones ear...

I absolutely loved getting to know Amanda and Nikole on their wedding day at the Stirling Guest Hotel. It was overwhelming to see how much love and support the two of them had on such an important day in their lives. I loved hearing all the endearing stories about the two of them from family and friends. It's safe to say these two are well-loved!

A HUGE Thank You to: 
Ceremony + Reception | Stirling Guest Hotel
Day of Coordinator | TJ Sophy of the Stirling Guest Hotel
DJ | Rob Urenko of Ultimate Sound Productions
Baker | Beverly's Pastry Shop
Florist | The Nosegay Florist
Makeup Artis | Heather Weiser Makeup Artistry LLC

Rachael + Emmy | Fall Family Portraits | Marietta, PA

I had the honor of photographing Miss Emelia when she was just a teeny tiny one-year-old nugget. It was an in-home session less than a block from my house (howdy neighbors!). She obviously didn't remember any of it or me, but I was so thrilled when Rachael reached out about family portraits!

Miss Emmy, I hope you always stay this wild and free. You are such a strong-willed, independent and kind little girl. Fierce is probably the best word to describe you. Your momma has raised you well no doubt. You have the genes of two truly special people so I couldn’t really see you turning out any differently!

Thank you for sharing your awesome running skills, Lou-dog, and your very special locket with me. I can't wait to see you grow into an even fiercer puppy wrangler! And thank your Rachael for humoring all my silliness throughout the session and the very thoughtful cat calendar! Helen the cat approves.

The Long Family | Speedwell Forge Extended Family Session | Lititz, PA

I was so excited when Danielle reached out about setting up a family photo session with me. She's a super talented artist herself! It's always an extra big honor when someone as talented and creative as Danielle inquires about my work. You can check out her work for yourself by clicking here.

I love photographing families, but extended families add a whole other level of fun! It's like being invited to Thanksgiving or Christmas. The gangs all there! I get to capture the whole family dynamic. Like grandparents and grandchildren snuggles. Or my personal fav aunt and nibblings snuggles because I'm the worlds greatest aunt obvi... It's the perfect way for the whole family to get a few photos of themselves and their loved ones to update them home with!

The Miller Family | Lifestyle Family Portraits | Lancaster, PA

Sarah reached out with fingers crossed and just one day to accomplish family photos this year. The stars aligned and it was a day I wasn't booked (fall scheduling is crazy y'all)! And I'm so glad they did!

I wouldn't have had the honor of meeting them and their little man! Who was a total flirt by the way... He's just learning to walk, but that didn't stop him from hand delivering my pretty leaf after pretty leaf with a big grin on his face. I see you, buddy!

The Millers are new-ish to Lancaster. So having family photos done at their new home was a no-brainer. It was the perfect way to capture this moment in their lives and share the big move with family and friends. By the way, total house envy. And I only saw the outside! Stunning. Welcome to Lancaster Miller family! We' sure are happy to have ya!

Emma Elizabeth | Newborn Session Masonic Village | Elizabethtown, PA

I had the honor of photographing Dave and Danielle's Harvest View Barn wedding just a few years ago (it feels like last week though!). I didn't think Danielle could get any prettier than she looked on her wedding day, BUT DANG! Motherhood looks good on this girl! I'm pretty sure I complimented her hair and mommy glow 100 times. Totally not creepy at all...

And don't even get me started on the perfect little cream-puff, Emma. Not only is she a total cutie, but she was so sweet through the whole session. Not a single tear, whimper or cry through the whole session. And it was in the 40's the day we were shooting... If I was her I'd be throwing a fit! I do believe there may or may not have been a diaper blow out towards the end of our session together, but that's a problem for mommy and daddy to worry about haha.

Mermaid Dreams | Wedding Styled Shoot | Lancaster, PA

For a long time, I swore I'd never do a styled shoot. What's a styled shoot you ask? Styled shoots are organized for many reasons, but most of the time they are used to build portfolios, build relationships among wedding vendors, and inspire couples. I'm all good with most of those reasons, but the inspiring couples part is a hard one for me to deal with.

Often styled shoots are put together by wedding vendors for wedding vendors. It's the best of the best coming together to create their very best, incredibly creative, most elaborate work. Which is totally awesome! BUT I feel that they could be discouraging to the everyday couple.

Styled shoots can set unrealistic expectations. PERIOD.

It's easy to have everything cohesively come together when several talented wedding vendors have been planning a specific theme for months. It's easy to have the perfect tablescape when an event designer had endless hours to design ONE sweetheart table. It's easy to have gorgeous photo after gorgeous photo when you're a photographer working with models and endless amount of time to do so.

But the other side of things is that they help keep us wedding vendors creative and fresh. It allows us time to explore our talents and step outside our boxes a bit. So I knew that when I was ready to do a styled shoot it would have to be something so wildly out there that no couple could allow the comparison game into their head.

So when my lovely mermaid obsessed friend and often wedding day assistant, Melissa, suggested the idea of doing a mermaid styled shoot I begged her to let me in on the fun! Melissa was hands down the backbone of this project, which is kind of hilarious to say because she recently was on bedrest for throwing her back out... She spent HOURS putting Pinterest boards together, talking to possible vendors and rallying the troops. This shoot would not have been possible without her and all the AH-MAZINGLY talented vendors listed below.

We had a vague narrative in our head when we started this project. As the shooting day went on a much more detailed story began to unfold. I know what it is, but I'm curious to hear what others think. Comment below what you think the story of these two shipwrecked lovers tale is!

A HUGE Thank You to: 
Other Photographer | Melissa Hess of Melissa Engle Photography
Models & All Around Badasses | Sirena Domino Hildebrand and Chris Juergen of Monsters and Lace
Florist | Kate Knapp of Glory Flower Co.
Jewelry | Realm and Reason
Canoe Rental | Lakefield Weddings
Geodes & Placemats Rentals | Keiser Rental Co.
Invites & Geode Calligraphy | Haldeman Haus
Mermaid Tail | Fin Fun Mermaids
Green Vintage Dress | The Scarlet Willow
Vintage Trunk | This is Dannis